If you're familiar with me, you should know that I'm a big fan of movies about relationships and love. The problem with that genre however, is that really good stories about relationships and love don't come very often. Most of them tend to lean more towards the unbelievable, plot convenient, idealized directions when it comes to the subject matter. Then there are some stories that make it much too dramatic and very real, that it can also alienate an audience into completely connecting with the depicted relationship.
Along comes "The Big Sick," that combines a good level of believability, humor, and unconventional take, to it's relationship and love story, that it completely won me over with how much I was invested with the couple. Not only that, but it's based on the real life story of the movie's writers; Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V Gordon, on how they ended up together. Kumail does get to play himself in the movie, while Zoe Kazan does a great job playing the role of Emily. Some liberties were taken of course, to add to the cinematic version of the truth. It was the right choice, because wow where there some great scenes in this movie.
Kumail is also a stand-up comic in real life; as he is in the movie, and it shows. The way comedy and humor is peppered throughout the whole story; even during the big dramatic moments, is masterfully done. The jokes land more often than not, and several of them are absolutely hilariously memorable. While it's heavy on the comedy, this is also very strong on the dramatic side, especially considering what happens halfway through the movie. Like the jokes, the drama, dilemmas, and struggles, feels authentic and very sympathetic, that it should only strengthen how much you should care for these characters. As a "dramedy," I admit that it was successfully able to give me the combo reaction of making me shed tears and making me laugh out loud.
Besides the excellent screenwriting work by Kumail and Emily, I feel that Director Michael Showalter deserves a lot of credit of being able to balance the tone of this movie, from the comedy to the drama. It also helped that it has a great cast, from leads like Kumail, Zoe, Ray Romano, and Holly Hunter, and the supporting cast like Anupam Kher, Zenobia Shroff, and Adeel Akhtar. The way these characters interacted with each other brought a lot into the stories, even if some of those scenes felt innocuous. This is a fully developed story, that it made me want to see past the credits once the movie was over. Luckily, you can see where the couple's story went past the movie, as they are real people.
Is it too early for me to proclaim that "The Big Sick" is going to go down as one of the great movies about relationships and love in movie history? Maybe. But it really does have a strong case for that title though.
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